About FLAG

My photo
Educate, Enrich and Empower underprivileged girls in the Philippines

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

40 years on earth

age 4

For the past week, I have been trying to think what to blog about.  We have
some exciting news on our Super Moms but no specific details yet.
The packages for the girls have not arrive so can't blog about that.
Not to be conceited, I think I need to talk about the milestone birthday coming up.
Dec 19
Thanks Google, nothing really major happened on this day.
Famous person Jake Gylenhall - is he even that famous?

Why am I here? What is my purpose?

I am who I am. I am here and I matter.
40 years on earth. Thank God.
I read this today, certainly one of many favorite quotes to live by (trying!)

I choose to live by choice not by chance, to make changes not excuses,
to be motivated not manipulated, to be useful not be used,
 to excel not compete. I choose self-esteem not self-pity,
I choose to listen to my inner voice not the random opinion of others."
Here's to the next 40 years.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
Follow us on twitter.com/flagphil

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Birthday !!

 November 24, 1994 - Jordan Matthew de Belen born 9lbs ! Yes, people he was 9 lbs. and all naturale .

In celebration of American Thanksgiving, we are also  celebrating my youngest son's 17th birthday.  I remember my husband driving on the highway shoulder because our house was in the east end and the hospital on  the west end ( in the middle of rush hour morning traffic!) We got there and the delivery went smoothly ( they gas me mind you ).  He was the cutest baby ( he still is!)

He is now a senior in high school, sigh! learning the anatomy of the body so he can help the society to be more conscious about their well being.  So far so good ( I think !). We are doing something right.  Like I always tell my boys growing up, being a parent did not come with any manual. 

Here are a few funny and AHA moments with Jordan:

Mom: Jordan, did you hate me when I use to give you lots of timeouts when you are small?

Jordan: No, time outs don't work Mom! we just sit there and think of what we're gonna do next !!

Lesson no. 2

Mom: Jordan, do you want a new phone for your birthday? like a nice touch screen phone?

Jordan: I don't need a new phone, this phone is good enough. I will let you know when I need one, so far this has been working well. ( his phone is 4 years old!)

He will be facing the next chapter of this life next year when he goes to college.  He is still my baby no matter what.

December 2010

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,



Follow us on twitter.com/flagphil


Monday, November 21, 2011

One of our angels moved away

The city of Manila is tough especially when you live in such poverty.  Sometimes you have to choose between food and education.  Most parents will choose food just to survive and just BE.

El Jhane's parents decided to move out of city and back to the province. Where life is so simple, air is clean and maybe start a farm.  Food will never be a problem. That's what's wonderful about  living in the province. You can survive.

We will miss her and her friends will miss her.  We hope she goes to school wherever she may be.

Although this is sad news for F.L.A.G,  this is also an opportunity for us to take in another girl within the neighborhood.  There are lot of girls who are in the same situation as El Jhane. As a matter of fact, we have 20 girls right now on our waiting list. 

We will always have a spot for El Jhane in our hearts...

We will miss you El Jhane ! 

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
The F.L.A.G team
Follow us on twitter.com/flagphil
Visit us www.flagphil.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Start a business for just $30


Correction, the mom's name in this picture is Adelyn.

If only that's true here in North America. In the Philippines, you can start a business for as low as $30.

F.L.A.G is happy announce that we are starting a micro loan for the moms of F.L.A.G.  One of the reasons we started F.L.A.G is to break the cycle of poverty in the Philippines.  We believe education is key to unlock this problem.  With 97 Million people in the Philippines, more than half of our citizens live in extreme poverty and desolation.  As a result, the parents are not able to send their children to school. 

We reached out to the moms and discussed if they would be willing to start a business if F.L.A.G would fund the cost.  We are surprised to hear that all of them are willing to work and be responsible for their families if only they were given the funds to start.

Let me introduce , Adelyn she is the mother of Chrisdel, she is the top student of F.L.A.G last school year.  Adelyn  did not finish high school nor elementary. To support her family, she washes clothes for rich families around the neighborhood.  She would like to start a small food business just outside her house. She needs $30 for all the ingredients and equipment.  ( we spend that in one day ! Starbucks  AM $4.15, Lunch $10 to $15 , Starbucks PM $4.15 , am I exaggerating?)

For Adelyn , there is hope of relief.  She can work from home, watch her small children, buy food for her family and eventually she will be the one who can help her children finish their education. What a nice feeling that would be!

"There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women" - Madeline Albright.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,


The F.L.A.G team

Follow us on twitter.com/flagphil

Visit us www.flagphil.com

Friday, November 11, 2011

Meet Charlotte Rose

It has been over a week since she came in to our lives.  Once again we have been blessed, an angel - Charlotte Rose my niece.  She is the 4th addition to the family ( I have 2 boys, and my sister one boy Austin ).

How precious she looks in her cozy little place, nice and warm. Gosh, I miss the smell of babies! Really!

Charlotte Rose
 Rose is my maternal grandmother's name, my sister has been her favorite when she was growing up. She kinda look like Charlotte because she has very thick hair ( sorry we had to put the hat on because the Aunts have gone crazy with dressing her up).

She is another addition to GIRL POWER of our family and one day I will tell her about F.L.A.G and I'm very sure she will be my advocate for our cause.  At the end of it all, I want to leave this organization to my family and hopefully continue to spread the word.

Thank you for stopping by,



Follow us- twitter.com/flagphil

LIKE us - www.facebook.com/flagphilippines

Monday, November 7, 2011

Should we stop pageants?

Most recently, Miss World , 1st runner up is from the Philippines, Gwendoline Rhuias. The Philippines has been put on the map when it comes to pageants within the last 2 years. We have Shamcey Supsup Miss Universe 3rd Runner Up, Venus Raj, Miss Universe 2010 1st Runner Up. It is an honour to be recognize especially coming from a third world country.  But the question is should we continue with this?  I don't know the answer to this and not trying to start a movement to stop it either. It is one of those, things that make you go hmmm???

This is my own beauty pageant - and the winner is Irysh. Most recently Irsyh came in FIRST amongst her class in Math beating the older kids? I was blown away by this as I recall how she was when I first met her. 

2010 - she barely spoke a word nor even smile

Next visit - she was a little comfortable with me

Here she is .. What a pose! She is ready to be the next Miss World !

Should we still continue with pageants?? What type of pageants should we have? Would people watch it if we have pageants of girls around the world who made significant transformation??

Thank you for stopping by !

On behalf of the the F.L.A.G team

Follow us on twitter/flagphill

LIKE us on facebook.com/flagphilippines

Friday, November 4, 2011

No lootbags required, just a cake !

I can still  remember when I used to prepare for  my kids' birthdays.  It was supposed to be fun for them and for me.  For weeks, I would  go crazy on decorations, loot bags etc.  Every year will be a different theme - movie night, Chuckee Cheese, swim party. You name it , I did it!   My teenage boys still remember them up to this day.

Here's what our FLAG volunteers do to prepare for our birthdays.  As we are a small school ( for now) , it doesn't  take a village to have the community share the chores around our small church.  No machinery required!
our volunteers helping each other to make our school a better place

After all, we have something special to prepare for.  We are celebrating 2 birthdays in October.  A board, some markers, some balloons and a lot of creativity, we are ready for a PARTY!

Great Job !!!

Our Birthday girls - Chrisdel and Faith

Pansit, ice cream, bread

For our girls who didn't celebrate their birthdays in the past, this is a treat.  I can just imagine how they must be feeling that day.  No fancy lootbags, no frills, no elaborate decorations. 

Thank you for all the blessings, the girls praying before their meal

After a long week of emails, voicemails, meetings,  this is what I get to see at the end of the day.  It makes it all worth it. 

Thank you for stopping by !

Hugs from,

 the F.L.A.G team

Follow us on twitter/flagphil

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Financial Date

Doesn't sound romantic? does it? But had to be done.  I have committed to my husband to have this date at least once a month.  Let's just say, I forgot when the last time we had one.  It is long OVERDUE! that's for sure. 

When my husband and I decided to open the school in 2010, we knew what we were getting into.  It was our savings that we put into this project.  I don't have any regrets to this day as I have received triple the blessings since then.  Do I long for a new fall bag ? yes, new boots yes, yes. But the question is do I need them? The answer is always NO. 

I don't deprive myself of shopping for a few things here and there, just be smart about it.  No need to "keep up with the Kardashians" all the time. Retail Therapy is always good but it is band aid solution for me as it doesn't solve anything. We just came back from a budget vacation for a week and we had a blast!!

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but do we really need all the stuff we have today?? Do we really need to spend $6.8 Billion on Halloween?  Maybe I am in a different place in my life today, trust me I was the impulsive shopaholic few years back ( no confessions here, I don't think 5 Hail Marys , 5 Our fathers will cut it ).

2 sweet little girls celebrating their birthdays
Chrisdel and Faith
They are the reasons why the Financial Date needs to happen.  Chrisdel and Faith celebrating their birthdays , YAY! yes, this is better feeling  than getting brand new boots or bag.

Thank you for stopping by!


F.L.A.G Team